Barton bags a hat-trick as Southwold crush West Norfolk
- Credit: Archant
London East 3 West Norfolk 12 Southwold 52 High-flying Southwold overcame the home side in a hard-fought battle played out in arctic conditions, writes David Vaughan.
West Norfolk opened the scoring on four minutes following a good spell of possession ending in their forwards driving over the Wold line but they missed their conversion.
Almost immediately Wold won good scrum ball, Callum Anthony at 10 made a terrific break down the right hand side and slipped the ball back inside to Sammy Harmer who sprinted in under the posts to put Wold’s nose in front at 7-5 as he also made the easy conversion.
Ten minutes later Callum Anthony was at it again as he broke away to put in James Barton for his first of three tries on the day to make it 14-5.
Barton then became provider as his pace beat the home defence and he put in Harmer for his second try.
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Ten minutes before half time the score moved to 26-5 when Wold were awarded a penalty try under the posts for Norfolk collapsing the scrum on their own try line.
Callum Anthony then broke the West line again and put in Barton for his second try and Wold’s lead moved to 33-5. Just before the break, the home side got a score back, making it 33-12 at the half.
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In the second half Wold were at it right from the kick off and were awarded a scrum 10 metres from the West line. A great scrum gave them good ball and the pack simply kept possession repeatedly driving for the line with Zak Loader eventually forcing his way over, wide on the right, to make it 38-12.
A West prop then suffered an injury and with no other available front row replacement, the scrums then went uncontested for the last quarter of the game. As often happens all spark then went out of the encounter and coupled with the freezing temperatures and horizontal wind driven snow flurries, the players, spectators and even the referee himself really just needed to hear the final whistle. The result and the points were not in doubt but the game degenerated in to more of a training session as opposed to a league match.
Wold did score two more converted tries before everyone rushed to the warmth of the clubhouse. Barton sprinted in for his hat-trick and the final try went to skipper James Hall.